TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Freshmen do not always break into a starting lineup early, and it is particularly rare when they are paired together against ranked opponents. For the FSU men’s tennis team, that was the right decision with Maks Silagy and Josh Karpenschif. The duo currently ranks No. 77 in the nation for collegiate doubles.
Maks Silagy, a redshirt freshman from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, came to Florida State by way of IMG Academy where he was ranked fourth in the state of Florida by USTA. He played in a few junior USTA doubles tournaments which is where he developed his doubles skills.
Josh Karpenschif, a freshman from Lyon, France, was one of the highest-rated players from Europe to sign with a collegiate program last year. Before coming to Florida State, he was not a doubles player, but this did not stop the pair from finding their rhythm.
“Josh is a lefty and I’m a righty, so I think it’s good that we have our own sides to play on,” said Silagy. “We’re both aggressive at the net, and we play well together.”
Chemistry is vital in doubles, and the freshmen duo believes they have built this on and off the court. The coaches also noticed this which is what led head coach Dwayne Hultquist to pair the two together.
“They’ve been a really consistent team for us and show good energy. They come ready to play every day,” Hultquist added. “I think the key is that they keep the chemistry together and enjoy playing together.”
The coaches first experimented with the pairing at the Bedford Cup in October, and Silagy and Karpenschif won. Since then, the two have been consistently playing together to continue improving.
At the beginning of the spring, the pair beat Florida twice in doubles followed by additional wins over ranked opponents which continued to prove their strength together.
As the season has progressed, Silagy and Karpenschif have earned vital wins for the team and for their confidence. All of their hard work was rewarded in the recent ITA doubles rankings as the duo entered the list for the first time this season.
“I think it’s really good for both of us,” Karpenschif shared. “We work really hard every day, so it means a lot, and I hope we keep improving every day.”
“I think it’s really special that we’re ranked as a freshman pair,” Silagy added. “I think it even boosts our confidence in singles and doubles, so hopefully we can keep it up throughout the season.”
As freshmen, there is exponential room for both players to grow individually and as partners.
“We just have to keep working,” Karpenschif said. “I think we have to keep doing the right things together, keeping our chemistry, and we’re going to be better.
Once the spring season concludes, there will be greater opportunities for the duo to showcase its talent, and Hultquist believes Silagy and Karpenschif are prepared for the challenge.
“We want the opportunity for them to make some of the national events maybe next fall and make deep runs in those,” Hultquist said. “I think they’re both guys who are getting better and working on their games and getting fitter and stronger, so they have great potential.”
Florida State (12-6, 2-4) is on the road for two matches this week beginning with Miami (12-6, 1-5) on Wednesday at 3 p.m. The team will then head north to face Boston College (4-10, 0-6) on Saturday at 6 p.m.
The Noles are 18-0 all-time against Boston College, including a 4-0 win in the most recent meeting between the two schools in the 2021 ACC Tournament.
Live stats for the match against Miami can be found here.
Live stats for the match against Boston College can be found here.
For more information on the Seminole Men’s Tennis program, check Seminoles.com and follow us on social media at FSUMTennis (IG) and @FSU_MTennis (TW).